In a vote of 4-1, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has granted the nominee of Duterte Youth partylist, Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema, a certificate of proclamation in relation to the 2019 midterm polls.
In a minute resolution, a copy of which was obtained by the media Tuesday, the commission decided to adopt the recommendation of their Law Department to “issue the Certificate of Proclamation of Duterte Youth Party-List, entitling its nominee Ms. Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema to sit as its Representative to the 18th Congress.”
“Let the Law Department implement this Resolution and the Supervisory of the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC)prepare the Certificate of Proclamation of nominee Ducielle Marie Suarez Cardema as Duterte Youth Party-List Representative to the 18th Congress,” read the resolution.
Except for Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas, Commissioners Antonio Kho Jr, Marlon Casquejo and Socorro Inting all voted in favor of the decision.
Inting voted to issue a COP to Cardema, subject to the outcome of pending cases with the two divisions.
In her Extended Opinion, Commissioner Inting said there is nothing wrong with proclaiming Cardema as her nomination should be presumed as valid pending resolution of the cases filed at the Comelec.
“Resorting to the first option (await the resolution of the pending cases) will unduly deprive the Duterte Youth of its right to occupy a seat in the House of Representatives in the light of the fact that it was already proclaimed by the Commission En Banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) per NBOC Resolution No. 004-19,” she said.
“In the meantime, pending resolution of these cases, Duterte Youth enjoys regular presumption of the validity of its registration and that its nominees are qualified,” she added.
Inting also said that cases affecting the registration of the Duterte Youth and qualifications of its nominees filed after its proclamation by NBOC do not divest the COMELEC en Banc of its “ministerial duty to issue the Certificate of Proclamation of its nominee, Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema.”
She added that the issuance of the COP does not deprive the First and Second Divisions of their jurisdiction to try and hear the pending cases.
Inting said should the petitions subject of the pending cases be granted, Duterte Youth registration may be cancelled and Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema may also be disqualified.
Cardema already took her oath on Tuesday before Speaker Lord Allan Velasco despite the pending petition to cancel Duterte Youth’s registration as a party-list and a disqualification case against her.